Discovery glides into history
Veteran shuttle lands at end of final mission
Space shuttle Discovery ended its 39-mission career this afternoon at 16:57 GMT, when it landed at Kennedy Space Center.
The shuttle's swansong was a 13-day trip to the International Space Station to deliver spares and the Permanent Multipurpose Module. It first launched on 30 August 1984, carrying three communications satellites.
According to initial figures provided by NASA's stats department, Discovery travelled 148 million miles (238 million kilometres) during its 365 days in space, and here's how it all ended on NASA TV:
The El Reg space bureau will have more on Discovery's 27-year space odyssey tomorrow. ®
Can we paraphrase:
I always dreamed I'd see the first flight of a reusable space vehicle*; I never dreamed I would see the last...
Yeah, I know, hope Atlantis and Endeavour also have safe final flights.
*I remember Columbia's safe return very well, live on TV.
Time to retire Discovery...
I was in 8th grade when the shuttle program was assigned to LA-area building companies after it was designed by NYC-area engineering companies. There were NIH problems in that the LA-folks really never 'owned' the design of the ship. The space shuttle design did not evolve over time, so the 1968-dreams became well-past-obsolete in 2011.
I will miss the Shuttles, but they really needed evolution to stay-fresh and remain viable like other aircraft and high-tech assets.
Back to the olde space capsules! We can only hope that privatization will bring new-ideas to this field.
The BOOMBOOM was pretty heavy in Orlando... shook the whole house.
I'm very sad. I've watched the Shuttles go from brand-new bleeding-edge technology to museum pieces. Going to be a rough rest of the day.